The addition of a pharmacist to a diabetes management team increases therapy optimization and medication access while enhancing patient care.
Including a pharmacist on diabetes management teams can improve patient care while increasing therapy optimization and enhancing medication access, according to a poster presented at the 2021 ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting & Exhibition.
The study was conducted over a 3-month period, with patients chosen through reports taken from the electronic health record.
Participants were included in the study if they were patients at 1 of 2 main primary care clinics, had a baseline HbA1c of ≥9% and their diabetes was being managed by a primary care provider.
A total of 52 patients met criteria and underwent a comprehensive medication review. Average patient age was 57.5 years (≥65 years, 28.8%) and 55.8% were men. Patients had an HbA1c of 10.5%±1.6%, blood pressure of 136±20/80±11 mmHg, bodymass index of 34.4, and estimated glomerular filtration rate of 92.5 mL/minute/1.73 m2.
A total of 80 interventions occurred, involving provider recommendations, therapy optimization, patient education, and counseling. Among the 44 interventions recommended to providers, 4 patients began a new antidiabetic agent, 4 patients were ordered fasting blood work, and 3 patients had their antidiabetic agents increased.
In addition, 75% of the 44 interventions were linked to chronic conditions other than diabetes.
Findings showed that clinical inertia was overcome by reviewing patients who have not returned to care after an elevated HbA1c. Team members reached out to patients to look further into medication adherence and to schedule follow-up appointments.
“The pharmacist was able to identify opportunities for therapy optimization, lower patient copays, and increase medication access,” the researchers concluded, “and, ultimately, enhance overall patient care.”